Sewing dare completed: my shibori romper

Here she is, my shibori romper! Internally, I refer to her as the Shibromper. | McCall's 6083, shibori romper

This was an incredibly fun project, largely due to the fact that it was on a sewing dare from Gillian. The dare was pretty literal – make a romper and dye it using shibori techniques – but I still spent a good amount of time thinking about how I wanted it to look. I used McCall’s 6083, a romper pattern that I’d used a few years ago to make a dress.

Rompers seem both comical and decadent to me (perhaps because I tend to sew basics so much) and I found those qualities very appealing. | McCall's 6083, shibori romper

Rompers can also evoke the seventies quite strongly. Another mark in their favor!

The only adjustment I made to this pattern was lengthening the bodice by 1.5″. Bloggers of all shapes and sizes seem to agree that this pattern is too short through the waist. The curve for the rear seemed a little flat and could probably use some bootifying, but the fit is relaxed so the end result isn’t terrible. I think I could have also lengthened the pants hem an extra inch or so, because I plan to wear this with heeled shoes. | McCall's 6083, shibori romper

The fabric is more of the tan linen that I’ve used for my Purple Plum dress, Shibori Satsuki, a tunic, an unblogged skirt and two unblogged tanks. I’ve almost reached the end of it! | McCall's 6083, shibori romper

I documented a bit of my shibori process, for those of you who are interested!

I sewed up the romper almost to completion, including the elastic waistband casing, but didn’t insert the elastic.

I had decided on a loose pattern of what I believe is called kanako-style shibori, with designs created by binding discrete areas with string (or rubber bands, in my case). Once you start binding areas, it’s easy to lose track of your overall pattern, so I marked mine with pins. Now that I’m writing this out, I’ll bet tailor tacks would be an even better option than pins.

I wrapped the sections I wanted to stay tan tightly in the rubber bands. I scrunched the rubber band strands together tightly since I was hoping for a solid doughnut shape.

This is what my romper looked like after I finished binding my fabric. The romper has neckline facings, which I didn’t find with the neckline.

The next step was dyeing my romper. I’m trying to use up some Jacquard’s Procion MX dyes, which are for cellulose fibers like linen and cotton. I didn’t include instructions here, but I mostly follow the immersion dyeing instructions from this PDF provided by Jacquard. I do not, however, use Synthropol to rinse my fabric. I can give a couple of tips on dyeing, from my own experiences:

  • The dye is strongest when you first put your piece of fabric or garment in, which is why it’s important to stir your dye bath constantly for 20 minutes.
  • It’s really easy to create unintentional resists to the dye. I left out the elastic because the gathers probably would have given the waist band a pattern.
  • Wear gloves and a mask! It’s very easy to breath in dry dye particles or absorb the wet dye chemicals through your skin.

The patchy spots on the legs are because I wasn’t able to stir my dye bath very well! I’d added in a few other shibori projects into the dye, and I think the bucket was too small. I’m not too worried about them, but would have been bummed out if I’d been aiming for an evenly-dyed piece. | McCall's 6083, shibori romper

Now, the big question: where do I wear this?


42 thoughts on “Sewing dare completed: my shibori romper

  1. It is glorious! You’ve done an amazing job. I had no idea that you had to tie little rubberbands to get the circle pattern. The romper itself is beautiful too, lovely fit and effortlessly feminine.

  2. Actually, this looks more wearable than I thought it would! It does have a 70’s vibe, but an elegant 70’s vibe. The colour is just lovely.

  3. AMAZING romper and you look great in it! I would wear it everywhere: work/party/movies/shopping. Seriously girl, you inspire me to do some dyeing ^.^

  4. I love the look of this, none of my dye projects ever turn out evenly, I consider it part of the artistic process but I think yours looks really good, if I would make a romper I’d defintly base it off this ( so I wouldn’t completely rip off your idea!)

    1. The only time I really want something to be dyed evenly is when I’m just trying to change the color of the fabric – otherwise, I love it when fabric shows signs of the dyeing process. And I’d love to see your take on a shibori romper!

  5. IT’S BRILLIANT!!!!! I love everything about it! Great fit, gorgeous blue colour, plus shibori dying?? Amazing! I’m with Inna – where it everywhere! I’m going to update the dares list right now! 🙂

  6. You are serving up serious 70s and I love it. I’m really intrigued by your lovely dying and wouldn’t have noticed any patchiness on the legs if you didn’t point it out!

  7. I absolutely love everything about this, down to the the splotchy leg! 🙂 It looks so effortless when you’re wearing it, but it’s still obvious that you put a lot of thought and care into the process. A perfect balance.

  8. I love it! I have a major soft spot for rompers, but I understand they’re not everyone’s boat. I love the fit and style of your romper (it seems so very you), and the shibori is beautiful. Great job!

  9. This is fabulous! Thanks for including the shibori techniques you used – it came out beautifully and the romper fits you perfectly!

  10. Wow, I never thought I would like a romper, but yours is amazing! Thanks for showing the steps of the shibori process. I think I’ll have to try that out for my next dyeing experiment!

  11. This looks fantastic on you and thanks for the tips on dyeing. Another good reason to leave the elastic out of the dyeing process is because temperatures higher than 120 degrees will degrade the quality of the elastic. How do I know – it happened to me when I was sewing some me-made undies!

    1. Aw man, I’m sorry to hear about your undies! This was a cold-dye process but thanks for the tip – I’ve definitely used hot dye baths for silk and wool.

  12. Your romper is really cool. I love the way you planned your dyeing pattern. It’s worked out beautifully. Also, hoorah for using up your linen!

  13. This is adorable!! The pattern is fantastic and I think it really suits you. The detail at the neckline was a really good idea, breaks up the romper nicely. Love this!

  14. Oh you are just the coolest! I love this soooo much, I’m not sure I could pull it off but on you it looks amazing. Wear it everywhere!!

    1. I’m not a super-adventurous dresser, but I have found the secret to pulling a new style off is trying it out and telling yourself that you, in fact, look awesome. 🙂

  15. I just bought this pattern so thanks for the tip on lengthening the bodice. I’ll need to do that. It looks great on you and I love that you dyed it yourself! Great technique using the elastics! wow

  16. Oh, wow, did you ever do a super job on this! I love jumpsuits (rompers) and the technique you used, too cool! Very original, nobody will have one just like it.

  17. Wow. It’s not often I’m completely blown away by a garment… but this is definitely one of those time. This is just so beautiful! The linen has taken to the dye in such a gorgeous way, and the shibori technique you’ve used complements both the romper and the fabic wonderfully. But goodness – what a specific dare Gillian gave you! I adore this 🙂

    1. Thanks, Melanie! Gillian prompted me to think about my goals for 2012 (which included doing more shibori) and the romper was my addition. So we came up with a very specific dare together! I always love how linen takes dye, too.

  18. Wondering how you would go about “bootifying” this. I have it cut out in a light weight denim, waiting to be sewn up, but worried about the fit. Any suggestions?

    1. If you’ve already cut it out, I think your options would be to baste the pant legs together and see if you needed to use a smaller seam allowance at the hips or rear curve. Or, if you didn’t mind modifying the look, you could add a strip of fabric at the outseam? Otherwise, I think the way to go would be to modify the pattern for next time.

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